An operation by the Fisheries Enforcement Unit (FEU) to clamp down on activities of persons engaged in illegal fishing along the south coast of Tema Newtown has resulted in the arrest of 27 fishermen including a 14-year-old boy.
The FEU, which consists of personnel from the Ghana Navy, Marine Police and Fisheries Commission, also impounded 46 generator sets during the operation as well as 43 lights belonging to the fishermen who were alleged to have engaged in light fishing.
About 46 canoe fishermen fled when they saw the team from the FEU. The operation by the FEU team was aimed at putting a stop to activities of fishing trawlers which are known for employing illegal fishing methods which sweep fingerlings off the sea bed and drive adult fishes into deep sea, thus depriving local canoe fishermen of fish catches.
The Commanding Officer of the Ghana Navy Ship (GNS), Lieutenant Commander Michael Duvor, briefed a section of the media on the special operation.
He said the operation started at dawn, at about 12:05 a.m., under the directive of the Eastern Naval Command. He continued that the navy would deploy its resources in a more effective manner to ensure that fisheries are exploited optimally for the benefit of the country.
He continued that the exercise was part of efforts to fight illegal fishing on the south coast of Tema and other areas. He pointed out that all the arrested persons including the seized equipment would be handed over to the Tema Regional Police Command for further action.
The Assistant Director of the Fisheries Commission, Mr Joseph Yeboah, who was with the FEU team during the operation, said when light is used in fishing it attracts fingerlings and with time, the water bodies may not have enough fishes.
He reminded fishermen that the ban on the use of electric lamps in fishing is still in force and warned that anyone caught flouting it would be punished.
Mr Yeboah said the Ghana Navy and other security agencies had been mandated to arrest and deal with fishermen who flout the ban.
He also warned that the commission would take appropriate measures to ensure compliance with the ban and pledged the ministry’s preparedness to assist people in coastal areas wishing to go into the fishing industry.
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